Uberzone – Ideology (2007)

Nobody does the hybrid of techno and breakbeat better than Uberzone do. This album is a good one. It features a variety of tracks and instrumentation. Let’s dive in and have a listen.

Okay begins our cyber journey into bliss. With robotic voices and a great beat kicking along, it sounds so different to everything else out there it is refreshing. It’s a good introduction to this album. It must be heard to be believed. There are acid sounds here too, a nice touch. The breakdown sounds great here as well.

4 Bit sounds so 1980’s in a good way that it makes one feel nostalgic. The beat kicks in, and what a beat it is! The grinding bassline makes this song greater than your typical EDM piece. Overall, this album so far is a great sonic trip. This tune is enjoyable as well. There are many unique sounds in the music here, a great piece to listen to when the mood strikes. It fades out mysteriously.

The robotic nature of this sort of music returns with Vibrate. It’s a great piece for those who like this sort of music. It’s surprisingly dance able as well, given the genre of music that this is, despite the fact it is clearly for home listening. A great futuristic and robotic sounding track. It has some highly intelligent sounds here, likely mostly original too.

The unusual Satisfaction follows. No, it’s not the hit by Benny Benassi either. It’s just a good tech-breaks style romp. Some great sounds are found here, which are individual, idealistic and creative. An epic and excellent listen, with some great drum sounds in the middle of the track. Acid noises return as well, just for the ride. A nice piece.

Ideology is the title track, and it starts rather slowly. It’s more laidback than the other tracks here, with some unusual theremin like melodies. It seems quite melancholy here, but still is as consistent as the rest of the album. It’s a good, but not great piece when the mood strikes. Sounds a lot like Radiohead in their Kid A or Amnesiac phase, in fact. It ends with a clock ticking.

FUBAR is much more like it. It’s an excellent and catchy driven piece to boot. It is the sort of tune that could be stuck in your head for days. It’s a wonderfully intriguing listen, so put on your headphones and listen to it. It’s rather more progressive than other EDM tunes out there, too.

The next piece, Alphawave, is a great rhythmic piece with some unusually modified vocal samples as well. It has some great drum sounds as well. It’s just a kickass track with some awesome TB-303 sort of sounds to hear as well. This album is very consistent throughout, always a good thing for the listener. It sounds like it was recorded it 3007, not 2007. A great sonic experiment done well.

The next one sounds apocalyptic. Germs sounds freaky and futuristic. It has a basic rhythm, acid sounds and mechanical melodies to entrance you. It is no doubt one of the better ones on this album, and is musically structured very well.

Geisha samples some Geisha talk in Japanese. It’s a lot slower than some of the other tracks on this album, but sounds like a good head trip all the same. It’s brief, but a good listen.

Funny Noise is another robotic creation from Uberzone. It’s a great deal better than the last couple of tracks, but still very consistent overall. It just flows nicely this album. It’s a robotic and musical project intertwined in a great effort. In the middle of this track, we have a great dancefloor piece. Even through headphones at home, this album is a winner. This track is no exception in this regard.

The short Inner Space is a semi-ambient piece that lets you drift into outer space. There’s not much to it, but it is a nice addition to the album.

The next tune, M87, sounds like a sort of Dub like piece. It’s got some laidback beats and psychedelic noises in it. Whoever said that postmodern music was bad? Uberzone make great tunes, and this album is proof of that. This track sounds like a Sonic The Hedgehog video game soundtrack, no joke.

Black Hole has some strummed acoustic guitar and some real life sounding beats. It sounds different, but good all the same. There is a variety of sampled instrumentation here, from pianos to bongos. It breaks down into silence at the end.

Yes speaks for itself. No comments required for an 11 second track.

The extra track Octopus (Bonus Track) is a solid listen itself. It should have been placed on the original album, but fortunately it is found on some releases of the album. We finish our sonic journey, satisfied with the outcome.

This sort of music is regularly overlooked by critics and consumers alike. However, it is clear that perfect techno + perfect breaks = Uberzone. Do yourself a favour and have a listen to this if you haven’t done so already.

8/10

Far East Movement – Free Wired (2010)

Who knew that a bunch of cool dudes living in California from an Asian background would make such great tunes? This album is a good album and deserves your attention.

The album itself is a great mixture of Electro, Hip Hop, EDM beats and RnB Pop sensibilities. Let’s give a run through of the track listing:

The first song Girls On The Dancefloor sets the scene, a party tune that is catchy, modern and hook-laden. It is pure fun.

The group’s biggest hit follows, Like A G6. This song features cut-up vocals, a catchy 808 “bump” and references to heavy drinking. Club central? You got it. Just don’t act like you’re drunk when you listen to this song.

Rocketeer is a rather melancholy piece about being in love. It’s great listening for anyone out there, “I’ve never been to outer space before, but I’ve never seen a face like yours” is a great lyric. These guys show more flexibility than your average pop group.

The next song features Snoop Dogg and comes titled as If I Was You (OMG). It’s a hilarious song about admiring the things girls do to get a guy’s attention. Pretty dirty though.

She Owns The Night is a great dance piece about a girl who masters her moves on the dancefloor. It’s more interesting and catchy than you’d think. These guys obviously had their fair share of wild nights.

The album begins to lag with So What? It’s not a bad tune, but can be repetitive to some. It does sample Kid Rock screaming, “WHATCHU WANT?!!” which proves that these guys had a variety of music tastes outside of the music scene that they would typically play.

Fighting For Air is a passionate song about sharing moments with a lady. And it’s not bad. In fact, by this point, this album is still going, and it kicks ass.

The following song White Flag features yet another guest Kayla Kai and is almost call-and-response in the way it is structured between verses and choruses. This is an unusual technique in today’s pop music and shows how intelligent the Far East Movement are.

The last song is kind of funny, but rather rubbish. 2 is Better is rather politically incorrect, and is only advisable for heterosexual men to listen to.

So why this album? Many people who follow the latest trends would identify this album as “old”. But it still sounds amazing and fresh to this day. If you have a Friday or Saturday night free and are about to hit the clubs, give this one a whirl. Nothing is more suitable for such an occasion. Despite the fact there are many guest musicians here, Free Wired is a club classic.

7/10